The e-cigarette company, FIN Branding Group, has appointed Rick Torgalski as vice president of sales, a role in which he will be responsible for “leading, developing, and growing” the company’s national sales, distribution and promotional efforts.
Before joining FIN, Torgalski served as director of convenience channels at Hostess Brands.
And prior to that he spent 10 years with The Hershey Company, where he held a number of positions, including national account manager and marketing manager.
“Rick’s varied experiences working on national account development is very important for our organization at this juncture,” said FIN chairman and CEO Elliot B. Maisel.
Reynolds American Inc.’s experiment with making e-cigarettes is about to move to a larger distribution scale, the company said Thursday at its annual shareholders meeting.
The company provided several strategic updates during formal remarks by Daan Delen, its CEO and president, and during a question-and-answer session that wasn’t consumed by farm-worker issues, according to the website equities.com.
Reynolds also said it has placed links on its website — www.reynoldsamerican.com — under the corporate governance header where its 2012 political-oriented contributions are listed. Delen said the company opted for more disclosure after getting requests from various stakeholder groups.
R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. remains in test markets with its internally developed Vuse e-cigs with no reported sales numbers. Vuse is being sold at Tarheel Tobacco stores at 6311 Stadium Drive in Clemmons, 3193 Peters Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem and in Danville, Va.
The e-cigarette company FIN Branding Group has appointed Joe Cipolla as its vice president of its supply chain.
The company said that Cipolla would oversee the “end-to-end supply chain with responsibility for procurement through distribution and warehousing, and maintain relationships with FIN’s internal partners and vendors.”
Before joining FIN, Cipolla served as the senior director of business strategy and supply chain for Campbell Soup Foodservice. And prior to that, he spent 13 years with Kraft Foods where he served as director of global supply chain strategy, finance and capital.
“As we move components for our brand globally, having someone of Joe’s caliber on our team is an important part of our growth strategy,” said FIN chairman and CEO Elliot B. Maisel.
“He understands the critical nature of an effective and efficient supply chain, and we are excited to have him on our team.”
The e-cigarette company, blu eCigs, acquired by Lorillard last year, has appointed Jim Raporte as its new president.
The company said that, with more than 30 years of experience across tobacco, food and business services industries, Raporte was set to lead blu eCigs’ “functional operations” and help drive its transition from an emerging startup to a large scale second-generation company.
Raporte will work closely with blu eCigs founder and previous president, Jason Healy.
Healy is said to have chosen to step down as president and hand over the reins of the company he created in 2009 to Raporte so as to focus on the company’s creative marketing and product development efforts.
Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth-largest cigarette group by market share, said it had set up a venture to develop e-cigarettes, as it battles an increasingly tough consumer environment in Europe.
The company said Fontem Ventures would look into areas such as e-vapor cigarettes, according to a story published by Reuters.
“We’re looking at opportunities and we’re actively developing in that area at the moment,” CEO Alison Cooper said on Tuesday, adding that the company would be “open-minded” to making acquisitions.
E-cigarettes –battery-powered metal tubes that turn nicotine-laced liquid into vapor– are gaining popularity among smokers trying to quit. Rival British American Tobacco set up Nicoventures, in 2011 to develop such products.
Imperial has been combating falling smoker numbers in developed countries and rising black market trade in countries such as Spain and France by raising prices, cutting costs and focusing on emerging markets, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
The company said full-year earnings per share growth would be at the lower end of its 4–8 percent target range due to such challenges. Analysts had been expecting Imperial to post a 5.6 percent rise, Reuters data showed.
Altria Group, the largest seller of tobacco in the U.S., plans to introduce an e-cigarette this year, chasing smaller rivals as demand for traditional smokes declines.
The e-cigarette will be sold in an undisclosed market starting in the second half of 2013, Richmond, Virginia-based Altria said today in a statement. The company declined to provide additional information until a conference call with analysts today, according to a story in Bloomburg News.
CEO Martin Barrington is trying to catch up to smaller rivals such as closely held NJOY and Lorillard Inc., which says its Blu e-cigs brand controls more than 40 percent of the U.S. market. Reynolds American Inc. said this week it plans to expand its Vuse e-cigarette this year.
First-quarter cigarette shipments fell at Altria, Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Reynolds and Greensboro, North Carolina-based Lorillard. Altria’s U.S. volume tumbled 5.2 percent, with top-selling Marlboro slipping 5.5 percent.
Lorillard CEO Murray Kessler told analysts yesterday the company estimates that e-cigarette sales displaced consumption of about 600 million cigarettes in the first quarter. That translates to an annual rate of about 2.4 billion cigarettes, accounting for about 1 percent of the U.S. market, according to Kenneth Shea, a Bloomberg Industries analyst in Skillman, New Jersey.